Friday, August 04, 2006

Back Home in Switzerland

Guys, I have arrived back home in Switzerland. The trip was rather long; I had to wait in Bangkok for 8 hours - and then more than an 11 hours flight back home. Was not a lot of fun but I survived ;-). Being back home, I was mostly tired and haven't done a lot. Just relaxing and trying to get back on track. Well, it's a cultural shock and it's as well the first time in a longer time that I'm able to really relax. Once in a while, you have to take that time!
Currently, I'm writing my report for Helvetas and try to get other stuff done that I should have done a long time ago. And then in about a week or two, I'll start with my master thesis. Guys, enjoy life!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Thimphu is a huge City!

After having stayed in Samtse for a few months, Thimphu feels like a huge city. I had a real good experience here in Bhutan and it will be a sad moment when I have to leave this place. I'm pretty sure that I'll have a major reverse cultural shock back home in Switzerland. So please stay with me and accept that it'll take a bit of time for me to get started.
The days in Thimphu are busy. Debriefing at the Helvetas office, meeting with officials, business guys, and friends, writing reports, and just enjoying the last few days in Bhutan.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

One Week!

Today in a week, I'll be on my way back home to Switzerland. Time is running and there are so many things left to be done. The workshop is almost over. Was a good week, we have been struggling with JavaScript and Kara and folks have learned a lot.
On Saturday, I'll be moving to Thimphu - the capital. I'll have a debriefing at Helvetas and will try to meet as many folks as possible. Catch up, exchange ideas, and try to initiate new projects. Next Wednesday, I will then move back to Paro and then on Thursday, leave Bhutan.
I had a really good time down here although sometimes, I had to fight. Guys, I'm looking forward to get back home! And I'm as well looking forward to come back to Bhutan ;-).

Monday, July 17, 2006


Guys, let me just post a bunch of pictures taken during our workshop. Well, it's the proof - I'm still wearing my Gho ;-). The workshop is running well and I have a lot of fun. This morning, I started with the Ted Stevens video and tried to argue that experience knowledge is really, really important. Then we got started with JavaScript and folks started to mess around. It's great to observe how everybody gets started!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Weekend - and Net Neutrality

I'm really happy that the weekend has approached! First week of the workshop is done and I have a good feeling! Folks have fun and learn new stuff - although you always need more time than planned - but that's ok. Exercises for next week are in the process of being created - so it should work out nicely.
A few hours ago, we went to Paro town to get a few grocery; I got even bread! And tomorrow, we plan to go up to the Tiger's Nest; should be a fun trip. After all that HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, I have to do something else for a few hours so that I'm ready again for the second week of the workshop.
Right now, there is a pretty fun debate going on in the US: net neutrality. Washington is all over that subject and even folks that probably haven't touched a computer before try to influence that debate; have a look at Senator Ted Stevens. Hehe, was well worth waiting to get that small movie to Bhutan ;-)!
Let me post a few pictures from the guest house that I'm currently staying at - amazing!

Washing Gho ;-) Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 14, 2006


Woww, that was an intense week - and is not yet over - it'll continue tomorrow morning! The workshop is rolling well although it is a pretty heavy task. I get into the computer lab by at least 8am and try to get the infrastructure for the day ready (installing programs...). By 9am, my participants show up and will have a session in the morning. I'm either presenting or helping out with problems. Then lunch at 12 noon (oh boy, the food was really hot today!) and back to the lab as soon as you are done. Then again session from 1pm to 4pm. Answering questions, solving problems, and advising. And then after 4pm sessions with guys that have special wishes. And then going home, getting food, and make sure that you are ready for the next day.
Yesterday, I helped one of the guys to get started with Apache / PHP - and stayed in the lab until 7pm. Without a break, we rushed to dinner - and then by 9:30pm, I was finally back in my apartment...
The participants are doing a great job and it's a lot of fun for me! During the first two days, we dealt with Kara. Folks really got into it and once almost forgot to get lunch (we were late by half an hour!). Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were spent on HTML / CSS. It's really good to see folks mess 'round with those two technologies. Everybody got started - even the folks that were afraid that they will have a hard time. So I'm really happy with how it is going so far.
I'm using Eclipse as an HTML / CSS / JS editor. Well, I'm not sure I would choose it again if I could go back. Some people got started nicely, didn't have any problems with the project management, and could take advantage of the nice auto completion and syntax highlighting. Others got completely lost with the project management - and I had to help more than once.
Tomorrow, we'll have a high level introduction in JavaScript and then on Monday we'll start to mess around with JavaScript. I'll start out with JavaScriptKara and spend probably the whole Monday with JavaScriptKara. Then on Tuesday, I plan to integrate JavaScript into HTML. We'll see how it'll work out!
All in all, it's a pretty intense time - but I'm learning a lot! There are not even two weeks left here in Bhutan. Now, time definitely starts to fly!! So many things left to be done, so many people left to be met. Guys, I'm looking forward to meet you very soon! Enjoy vacation and have fun!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


The pics of my trip up to Paro can be found at My workshop is going well although it is a pretty heavy time - I feel like dead in the evening. But it's a good time!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Arrived in Paro

Guys, I had a good trip up to Paro. It's only about 210 kilometers but the trip took eleven hours. In the morning, I got up at 5am to clean up my apartment and to get ready. Well, I was pretty tired yesterday night and didn't manage the watch the world cup final (I went to bed after 70 minutes...). Paro feels like a huge city - after having stayed in Samtse for almost three months. On a side note, Paro has about 3000 inhabitants... - it's funny to observe how fast your perception changes and your mind shifts.
The trip was nice and I took a lot of pictures - tough I haven't yet loaded them onto the computer - so you will have to check back later on.

Today, my workshop started. Kara goes Bhutan! The first day was good and folks were playing around with Kara. I might have to slow down a little bit as we go along - but that is ok and I more or less knew it before I got started. I have to go to bed really early today because this afternoon, I got really tired. Well, I'll be probably dead after those two weeks. A two week long IT workshop, I'm organizing and teaching it on my own, and I have 12 participants. Uff.... - but that's ok, I'm learning a lot! Well, I'm probably by years the youngest one that is 'participating' in the workshop...
Guys, have a great week!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Last Pictures from Samtse!

The second computer lab - well, it took me a whole day to bring all those computers back to life!

It was David's birthday yesterday - and we had a really good cake, momos, and other traditional food! Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 07, 2006

Last days in Samtse

Guys, this is almost my last day here in Samtse; I'll be leaving this Sunday morning to go up to Paro. In Paro, I'll be organizing a two week long workshop for the FIT (Functional IT) Lecturers - it's gonna be a lot of fun. I was preparing like crazy during the last couple of days and have a good feeling now. I'm confident that I'll be able to help out and get some ideas across.
My time here in Samtse has been really good and it is not entirely easy to leave. I got in contact with a lot of good folks and have just learned a lot. Today, two Australian guys from UNE arrived - and I realized how much I probably have changed during my time here. It was really good to talk to them and exchange experiences.
Wednesday night, the institute organized a farewell dinner for David, Joy, and me. It was lovely, we were another time chief guests, and I even had to give some sort of a speech. Well, I just told them that I have learned a lot down here and that I really appreciate having had the chance to stay in this environment. And I'm looking forward to come back and to not have to get started anew. It is just astonishing how fast you can adapt.
I have not even three weeks left down here in Bhutan. Things get wrapped up and impressions get put into place. Upon returning back home to Switzerland, you might have to kick me now and then. It might not be easy for me to start again back home - the reverse cultural shock might take control. But that's ok - that's as well part of the experience.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


Today was my last shopping day here in Samtse; I'll be leaving Samtse next Sunday morning and will move up to Paro. In Paro, I'll be organizing a workshop for lecturers. Will be exciting and I'm looking forward to it - but it'll be a busy time...
Shopping is a little special here in Samtse - different from what I was used to from back home. Well, you don't go to Migros or Walmart but instead to the Sunday market. Vendors come from India and sell you whatever you need; bananas, tomatoes, chili, beans, carrots, ... Buying stuff turned out to be a bit difficult in the beginning because

  1. I'm not speaking Hindi
  2. I'm not used to bargain
  3. I'm a stupid chilip (= western guy in Dzongkha) and everybody realizes that within half a second
But I got used to it and it is amazing how fast you can adapt and something feels like you have done it for ages. I'm still not speaking any Hindi - but I figured out how to communicate with them; most of them understand English numbers and how much - and that's about all you really need ;-)
Last week, we walked up to the top of the mountain that is next to Samtse - it's an awesome place because you get a good overview of what Samtse looks like. Was a hard fight to go up there - but it was worthwhile! Guys, have a great weekend and enjoy life!

Samtse - the place where I have been living for the last couple of months.
Joy and David; my Australian friends.
Prayer flags and Samtse.

Samtse again...
Walking down.

Sunday market; getting tomatoes

Puffed rice!

Need new clothes?
Sunday market from far!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Home - and what it means to me

Home - what exactly does that word mean? Hard to explain. If you have stayed all your life long in the same place, you might be able to give a pretty definite answer to that question. If you have lived in several places - well, it might be more difficult. If you have lived on a bunch of continents - well, then it might be pretty difficult sometimes.
After having stayed in North Carolina for only nine months, I realized that I started to call Carolina home. Strange. I didn't quite understand it. But it felt right. But at the same time Switzerland is still home and sometimes other people got confused when I was referring to both Carolina and Switzerland as home. It was always immediately clear to me which one I meant - but I called them the same way and therefore for everybody else, it was not obvious which one I was talking about.

This week was the last week of classes for the students here in Samtse. They'll have exam this week and break will start the week after. It'll get pretty empty down here without all the students and I'm already missing them. I had a good time together with them.
We had our last FIT class on Wednesday - so I invited my students for dinner after the class. We ordered the food in the canteen, took it up to the classroom, and had just a really good time. We got together - and well, if Bhutanese guys get together, everybody has to sing. Not just all folks together but individually. And because I was the chief guest, I had to start. Hehe, I was singing 'Alperoose' but couldn't really remember all of the text. The students sung English, Bhutanese, Nepali, and Hindi songs. Was amazing and I enjoyed it a lot. After the social session, we got food. Sure, I had to get first (as chief guest). Was really good and I enjoyed it a lot!
Then, on Friday, the students told me that they'd organize a dinner for me on Saturday night. They organized food, prepared the classroom nicely and just did a great job. We took another time pictures, were dancing, singing (I was singing La Montanara), and playing games. The food was excellent - but that's not what this whole thing was about. It was about getting together. You know, it was one of those moments that you cannot really describe. You look into their eyes and no words are necessary. You cannot capture it rationally - and that's ok that way.
And sitting on the floor with all those guys and eating a traditional Bhutanese meal, I realized that this place started to feel like home. And I started to understand what home means to me. It's not about a physical place. It's not about all the nice materialistic stuff that we can get in Switzerland. It's not about all the convenience. It's not about luxury. It's not about a language. It's not about the fact that you grew up in a place and are used to it.

It's all about the folks. It's all about the ideas.
You might not be able to understand this. You might even be offended. But in all the time here in Bhutan, I have never really missed Switzerland. I have missed Switzerland when I stayed in the US. But not here. I miss my family and my friends; very true. But not Switzerland.

Well, that evening was one of the moments that makes it worth staying abroad and fighting all the hard battles that you have to fight. You learn a lot - and sometimes, you even feel like crying. Not because you are sad but because you are really happy.
Guys, enjoy life!
Almost all the boys of my class.

Almost all the women of my class.

Bhutanese scenery.


This upcoming fall, the Sport Association Taegerig will host the gymnastic show De Flug dur d 80-er; this translates roughly to Flying through the Eighties. We will try to get a good program rolling and hope that a lot of folks show up. Should be fun - so if you are around Switzerland on the 27th or 28th of October 2006, would be fun to meet you in Taegerig. For more information have a look at
Why am I writing all that stuff here from Bhutan? Well, I'm on the organizing team but was not as closely involved as I should have been. If you want to learn more about what I'm supposed to be doing, have a look at the first newsletter and try to figure out what job I'm doing ;-).

Friday, June 16, 2006

Most of my Energy...

... is currently consumed by staying here in Bhutan. So if you don't get a response to your emails immediately - sorry for that. I haven't forgotten you and will reply to you one day. The LAN manager of the NIE has left for training and I'm basically the person that has to make sure that the IT infrastructure is at least partially running. Yesterday, our proxy server collapsed and crashed every hour. Today, the same server is doing again fine and is now up for eight hours. Don't ask me what it was.
In fact, I'm not supposed to keep that infrastructure running. Well, I could write a nice analysis and a paper about Distance Education and IT while at the same time the infrastructure at the NIE breaks down. Or I could try to keep the infrastructure running and put off the real work that I'm supposed to do. Well, I chose the second option.

Let me recycle part of my midterm report to the Swiss Civil Service authority. Guys, have fun and enjoy life!

Current Personal State
Staying in a new culture and environment, you sometimes run into problems. I knew that and IÂ’m perfectly ok with that. Sometimes, it costs a lot of energy to be always this special guy. You have ups and downs. But that'’s ok. I can cope with that. All in all, staying here in Bhutan is a huge experience. It is not always easy but I'’m constantly learning and I really appreciate having this chance. If I could go back and decide again whether I'’d like to do my civil service in Bhutan, I wouldn'’t wait a single second and take the opportunity.
No physical, psychological or health problems have shown up so far. I'’m confident that in case they would show up, I know people well enough to get help ;-).
Accommodation is ok although my apartment doesn't have a roof and monsoon has already started. I'’m cool with the current situation - I don't yet have to use an umbrella to cook food ;-). I might have to move my bed to a different room within two weeks - but that should work out as well.
Helvetas is doing a great job and supports me whenever it is needed. No complaints here. Working condition is ok. Working Saturdays from 8 to 12 (and sometimes I end up working longer). Generally, I'm probably working more than it is requested -– but most IT people probably do that ;-).

Staying in Bhutan is all in all a great experience. Oftentimes, I'’m tired but that'’s ok. Oftentimes it'’s more difficult than staying back home would be. But that's ok. I'’m learning a lot about a new culture, about a country, and about myself.

Ugyen, Phuentsho, and Choden (not 100% sure...)
Tashi and Yeshi

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


This morning during the assembly, I had to speak about a random topic. So I choose to talk about what it is like to be here in Bhutan. My experience. Feel free to smile ;-).

For xmas, I got Jamie Zeppa’s book ‘Beyond the Sky and the Earth: A Journey into Bhutan’. I read it eagerly and was asking myself: What will it be like for me? What will I bump into? It’s a fascinating book – but sometimes it was really hard for me to relate to the things that she is describing.
In the beginning of the book, Jamie describes that the girls of her class help her to get properly dressed. Well, I couldn’t really understand that. I was used to pants – and it is not too hard to put on pants correctly.
After having stayed here in Bhutan for a bit of time, I can relate extremely well to what Jamie is describing.
I know exactly how it feels to come to school and not be properly dressed.
I know exactly how it feels if you have to ask students to help you put on your Gho.
I know exactly how it feels to have problems to properly dress yourself.
I know exactly how stupid you feel walking around campus and your Gho is all over the place – but just not the way it should be.
I’m honest with you guys; sometimes, that’s pretty hard. Sometimes I have to fight. Sometimes it is humiliating. But that’s ok because it’s the only way to learn how to wear a Gho. You have to be able to put it on correctly in the mornings when you feel really bad. Only if you are able to put it on correctly in one of those mornings, you really know how to do it.
During the last few weeks, I have not only tried to learn how to put on a Gho correctly. I have gotten in contact with a new culture. Being put into this new context, I have lost part of my frame of reference.
Often, I’m not quite sure how to act.
Not quite sure what to do.
Not quite sure what to say.
Sometimes it costs a lot of energy to be not quite sure. But that’s ok – it’s the only way to get exposed to the culture and learn about the way it works.

Assume that you are blind. You have been living in a room for the last year and you know every inch of that room. You can move around without danger of bumping into the walls or chairs. You know exactly how your environment looks like. But one good day, you get a second room. On one side, that’s a great thing. You have more space and can organize your furniture differently. On the other side, you are lost in the new room. You don’t really know how this new room looks like. The only way to explore this new room is to bump into walls. If you don’t bump into walls, you don’t really know where the boundaries are. You can bump into walls softly or with full force. If you bump into them too softly, you might not explore the final boundaries. And if you bump into them too hard, you might get hurt.

Here in Bhutan, I have been bumping into a lot of walls. Bhutan is the room that got added to my apartment. Sometimes, it hurts to explore it. Sometimes, it feels just great. And I know that I will bump into more walls. But bumping into walls means to expand the space that you can live in. Bumping into walls is hard – but I know that it is the only way to learn. To really learn.

New rooms are getting added to your personal apartment - so you are bumping into walls. But as well the apartment of your country gets expanded – and you as a nation are bumping into walls. Sometimes, it hurts. Sometimes, it feels just great. Nobody claims that it is easy. But it’s the way to learn new things. Don’t be afraid to bump into all those walls – it will help you to expand your apartment.

If I had to name one person that is responsible for whom I am today, this person is one of my teachers. He helped me to choose a good subject for my studies. He is responsible for me staying here in Bhutan. It’s not his subject knowledge that is the reason why he shaped me. It is his personality. It’s the way he taught. It’s the way he interacted with us.

You will shape the next generation of Bhutan. Teach those kids how to bump into walls. Teach them how to bump into walls in a responsible way. Nobody claims that it will be an easy thing. Sometimes, it’s probably going to be a pretty hard task. But that’s ok. That’s how we learn.

That was the long version of what I wanted to tell you. The short version basically says the same – just in a different way.
Thanks a lot for letting me bump into walls. Thanks a lot for showing me all those new rooms. Thanks a lot for expanding my space of living. Thanks for accepting that I’m sometimes different and that I cannot adapt to how you do things. Thank you.
I bumped into a lot of walls and have learned a lot. Sometimes, it’s pretty hard. But I know that this is the way to learn. I learned here in Bhutan what is important in my life. And I learned about all the things that I don’t care about. I’ll return back home as a different person. Thank you.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Forza Ragazzi

This weekend, a soccer tournament took place here in Samtse. Students formed teams and the lecturers did the same. The lecturers lost their first game (I didn't play because my legs hurt quite a bit...).
This morning, I originally wanted to go to the market to get some fresh vegetables, a lighter, milk, corn flakes, and cookies ;-). Walking by the soccer field, I realized that my class was playing. The ladies cheered up and I just had to join those guys. The ladies cheered nicely - but I missed all the singing that you are used to from European soccer fields. So I started singing a few songs that I know from Ambri. After a bit of time, a few ladies were able to sing along - 'Forza ragazzi, vinci per noi, forza science B, science B allee'; science B is the name of my class. After a bit of time, I had a microphone in front of me - and well, it kind of felt like being in Ambri. I started singing 'Forza ragazzi' and all those guys joined in. Boy, was really strange to see that happen here in Bhutan.
After having cheered really hard, I finally got my vegetables from the market and prepared a nice meal. While preparing that meal, I just had to laugh really hard - it's just too strange to have a bunch of Bhutanese guys singing 'Forza ragazzi, vinci per noi' ;-). Guys have fun and cheer up!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Soccer World Cup

It's fascinating to observe that folks here in Bhutan are absolutely crazy about soccer. Most of the trainees here know a lot more about European soccer than I do. Some of them can even tell you the names of some Swiss players and clubs. Because of the time difference, the European games take place during the night here in Bhutan - but that's not a reason to miss a game ;-).
With the soccer world cup rollin', a lot of the trainees might not get a lot of sleep. Yesterday night, I watched Germany - Costa Rica (second half) - together with I-don't-know-how-many-trainees. Was fun and I'm definitely looking forward to Tuesday. Hopp Schwiiz!
It's weekend and I'm happy about that. Was a busy time and I was really tired this week. Let me just post a few pics from last week.

A bunch of friends together with our dinner ;-).

Do you see that massive amount of rice and chili?

A real Bhutanese meal ;-).

Friday, June 09, 2006

Foundation Day Video!

Thanks to VSAT, a first video from NIE Samtse is online on Foundation day was celebrated about two weeks back. In the morning, we had a ceremony in the auditorium and then later on, everybody went out to the football ground to watch the final of the khuru tournament. Watching the video, you will get in contact with khuru (some sort of a dart game), the dances performed after having hit the target, traditional songs and dances, and just a bunch of really good students down her at NIE Samtse. Guys, have fund and enjoy the Soccer World Cup!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Cultural Show, VSAT, and Soccer

Guys, today it will be a picture post. Let me just document part of my life down here in Bhutan.

Cultural show; folks in traditional Bhutanese dress.

Traditional dance performed in a non-traditional way ;-).

VSAT is coming! But first we have to do some hard work!

That's a dish!

Getting the cable into the pipe.

Fighting with the pipe.

The cable is almost in.

The satellite dish up and running.

Playing soccer.

Washing clothes was almost harder than playing soccer itself ;-)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Today, I was another time teaching. Things go well and I have a lot of fun teaching the FIT class. Some of the students haven't interacted with computers before; but all of those students have gotten started with the mouse and keyboard and are able to format text. Those moments feel really good.
It'll be a really short post - my eyes don't like me anymore and tell me to go to bed. So let me just post two pictures of my class. In total, there are 37 students in the class - but as you can see, not all of them showed up. But I have at least a picture of the guys that showed up...

Normally, I wear a Gho for class. But because this class was in the evening at 6pm, I was not sure whether the students would show up in western clothes or in traditional Bhutanese cloths. So I decided to come in western clothes - because it would have been silly me being the only person showing up in traditional Bhutanese clothes...

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Cheese, Jam Session, and Traditional Dances

There was a ton of stuff going on during the last few days but only now I have time to write it down. Saturday night, a Jam Session took place at the NIE Samtse. A Jam Session in the Bhutanese context is more or less a European disco. Boy, it was a ton of fun. I'm not a party guy - but last Saturday, I realized that I have missed it a lot. It was fun to shake and dance with all the trainees. All the guys that you mostly met in Gho and Kira now freaked out in western clothes. People were a bit more relaxed and it was easier to get in contact with them. You had even some of the games going on that we know from the European or American context.
But even considering this a bit more relaxed atmosphere, I was still called 'Sir' and 'Mr. Sam'. It's a bit weird because all those kids are about the same age as I am. Telling people to forget the 'Sir' doesn't really help - it's a sign of respect. Well, sometimes I'd prefer to talk to them in a relaxed atmosphere instead of just getting called 'Sir'. But it's probably something that takes just a lot of time.
And yeah, I'm still this special guy. So when I arrived at the place where the Jam Session took place, everybody had a - hidden - glance on what I was exactly doing. So Sam dancing (and everybody that knows me well knows that this is not really a strong side of me...) - and all the trainees watching. We'll, that's what you run into while staying abroad.
But don't get me wrong; I enjoyed it a lot, we had a ton of fun, and it felt really good. The music was - well - special. The older generations might be able to recall Rednex; Cotton Eye Joe is a huge hit here in Bhutan. And then, there was all the Hindi music. And for sure a ton of American stuff (even American country music...).

On Sunday night, Joy and David Laird returned back from their trip. They have visited several places in Bhutan - and they have even been to Bumthang. Bumthang is the Switzerland of Bhutan (that's what everybody is telling me) - and there is even a Swiss guy producing cheese down there. So among Swiss guys in Bhutan it is an open secret that one has to get Swiss cheese from Bumthang. David got me some Swiss cheese - and not just a little bit. I got a complete cheese - 5.2 kg!! Wow, I just had to laugh really hard - 5.2 kg! Well, we'll see how long it'll take to eat that cheese. Guess that I won't finish it on my own - today, a first lecturer got a portion of cheese ;-).

On Monday, the NIE Samtse celebrated its foundation day. In the morning, there was an official ceremony. All the students, all the lecturers, and even some external guys attended. Prayer in the beginning and speeches following. After the ceremony, everybody moved to the sports ground and the final of the
khuru game took place. Khuru is some sort of a dart game - similar to archery.
I was considered to be one of the guests and had to sit in the front row. I was even shaking hands with the chief guest (he was some sort of a high politician). After the khuru game was over (I went working in between - most of the lecturers did the same...), a lot of the lecturers and trainees were dancing a traditional Bhutanese dances. Well, as soon as I came even close to the dancing group, one of the trainees integrated me into the circle. There is not a lot you can do about that - so I was dancing for the first time a traditional Bhutanese dance - and that in front of the complete institute...

Then, lunch was served. Naturally, no spoons or forks were available; Bhutanese guys are just used to eat with their hands. Have you ever eaten rice with your hands?? It's like eating rice with chop sticks - if you are not used to it, you starve. Again, I was this weird guy not being able to eat with his hands ;-). After a few minutes one of the trainees step up to me and offered a spoon ;-).

You see, life in Bhutan is exciting and I learn a lot. Sometimes, it is as well not entirely easy to adapt to different customs - but that's what I'd call a learning experience. Guys, expect somebody different to come back home. In the beginning, I freaked out because of all the ants in the rice. Now, I don't even care...

Let's just add two more pics:

Trainees in the computer lab - one time not in Gho and Kira ;-).

That's how the electrical situation sometimes looks like - voltage dropping down to 150 Volts. Once, I even observed 50 Volts...